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Survey: Businesses support nuclear project partnerships


Staff Reports

Published Feb. 18, 2011

Last week the head of South Carolina’s electric cooperatives suggested utilities in South Carolina should partners on nuclear power reactors. According to a poll, 83.8% of GSA Daily readers think that’s a good idea.

The suggestion was made by Mike Couick, CEO of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, the trade organization representing the state’s electric co-ops and their power generation.

Four new nuclear plants are currently being planned in the state, two at the V.C. Summer Station operated by SCE&G near Jenkinsville and two at the Lee Nuclear Station plant run by Duke Energy Corp. in Gaffney. Santee Cooper, SCE&G’s publicly owned partner, has stated that it is reviewing whether to keep all of its 45% stake in the SCE&G project.

In GSA Daily’s weekly poll, 83.8% support partnership, 5.9% did not, and 10.3% were unsure.

Couick believes that broader partnerships would be best for the utilities and for his 1.5 million co-op ratepayers. Under the model that Couick’s organization is advocating, the four new reactors should be brought online one at a time with the first two at Summer, then at Lee.

The majority of GSA Daily readers, 88.9%, think Duke’s Gaffney plant should come on line first, compared to 11.1% that support SCE&G’s Jenkinsville site.

As of 2005, nuclear power provided 6.3% of the world's energy and 15% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France and Japan together accounting for 56.5% of nuclear generated electricity, according to AbsoluteAstronomy.com.

Is nuclear power "the answer" to meeting our future energy needs? According to 85.1% of GSA Daily readers, it is. Another 6% said no, while 9% didn’t share an opinion.

There were 68 participants in the survey. The results of this survey are unscientific and represent only the views of the people who participated in the survey.

Here’s a selection of comments from GSA Daily readers:

“It takes approximately 10 years to get license to build a nuclear plant, longer than it takes to build one. I understand regulations, but 10 years, even for the government, is way too many years.”

“We are way behind.”

“(Nuclear power is) clean and efficient, and it provides construction jobs right away and then brings jobs at the plant site.”

“We need a comprehensive energy plan. We cannot continue to rely on single energy sources. The future of power in the world is solar, hydro-electric, tides, wind, coal, natural gas, bio-fuels, renewable bio-fuels, fuel cells, and nuclear. We have long surpassed a single power solution. We also need considerable research into power storage.”

“As long as strict safety regulations are enforced, nuclear power is as safe as anything else and much more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly.”